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Lecture

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY-0001
Professor
Sam Sommers

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04/15/2014 Self­Concept Who is it you believe yourself to be Sum total of your knowledge about yourself Questions about Self­Concept How do we arrive at this self­concept? What is the nature of self­perception? (To what extent is it accurate? To what extent is it bias?) Self­Esteem Evaluative component of the self­concept How you assess your worth and value as a human being Sources of Self­Knowledge We learn who we are by just looking inward at our thoughts and feelings Limitations of Introspection Dr. Phil’s approach assumes some sort of authentic self  In reality, our self­concept can be very context dependent We often fail to recognize true influences on our thoughts and behaviors Ex. celebrity endorsements, negative ads Do we even have “core” or “authentic” self to try to uncover? No Personality can remain somewhat constant Self­Perception is Context­Dependent When given 20 statements test (“I am ______”), responses are different depending on where you are, who  you are with, etc. (context) The self­concept is multi­faceted Different characteristics salient in different contexts: working self­concept Thoughts that are most salient about yourself in specific concept We often describe ourselves in terms that make us distinctive/differentiate us from the people around us Other people are an important source of information about the self Lean Festinger’s social comparison theory We compare ourselves to similar others in the immediate environment on a regular basis To see how we’re doing To make ourselves feel better See ourselves differently depending on who’s around us Preferences depend on question order  Example: What do you think of the Republican Party? Ask people first what they think about George Bush (unpopular Republican) and then what they think about  the Republican Party Ratings of Republican Party will be worse than if you don’t ask the first question Life satisfaction is influenced by trivial factors  Example: How satisfied are you with your life?  Higher ratings when seated in a comfortable chair, in a nice room, or your favorite sports team just won Personal opinions change depending on comparison points Example: ratings of attractive of friends If you first show people pictures of models, their ratings of the attractiveness of the people around them will  go down  Self­Perception is Culturally Determined Cultures tend to vary in terms of value placed on independence Some cultures more individualistic; others more collectivistic  More independent cultures include U.S., Western Europe  Emphasis placed on what makes us unique Schools and media focus on each child as “special” Priority on ind
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